Nuggets plan to counter Washington’s small-ball lineups without Juancho Hernangomez

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DENVER — Nuggets' swingman Juancho Hernangomez will not play Monday night versus the Washington Wizards.

Hernangomez has been dealing with an illness, Nuggets' coach Michael Malone said pregame. Denver will activate swingman Richard Jefferson for the first time since he signed with the team last week.

Jefferson, 37, averaged 5.7 points on 44.6 percent shooting from the field and 33.3 percent from three, along with 2.6 rebounds per game for Cleveland last season.

“He’s a vet who can still play,” Malone said of Jefferson. “He helped Cleveland win a championship two years ago and I think he’s about all the right things. If he’s not playing, he’s going to help lead these guys the right way. If he is playing, I think he can help us on the court because of his ability to space the court make shots have a high IQ guard multiple positions.”

Wizards' backup power forward Jason Smith (shoulder) will not play against the Nuggets and starting four-man Markieff Morris is still sidelined after undergoing abdominal surgery on Sep. 22 meaning Washington is set to play a lot of small-ball. Denver could match the Wizards' personnel by playing Jefferson alongside Wilson Chandler in smaller lineups.

Friday night against the Pistons, Wizards' coach Scott Brooks started small forward Kelly Oubre alongside Otto Porter and Marcin Gortat. Mike Scott got the majority of the backup power forward minutes versus Detroit.

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